We conducted Basic Training II in Covington, a New Orleans suburb on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain. The Lord gave us His wisdom to train the disciples, and during the demonstrations people were supernaturally healed and touched by the Lord as the disciples ministered to them. God was gracious to confirm His word to His people.
In particular there was a black brother named Calvin Dillon who lives in the 8th Ward of the city of New Orleans—a poor area hit hard by the floodwaters which devastated New Orleans in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina. We were driven through the area, and passed by quite a few desolate homes ruined by Katrina six years ago and left abandoned by the residents who had moved elsewhere. Brother Calvin attended the Training with us. Following the afternoon session he went with another trained disciple and stood outside a local Walmart to heal the sick and preach the gospel. A man who had difficulty walking was gloriously healed right in front of Walmart.
On Sunday we ministered at the morning and evening services of Landmark Church, an 80-year-old Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) congregation in Covington. We introduced the Basic Training to the people, and afterwards applied the Scriptures by having the believers minister to the infirm according to the model of Jesus Himself.
The Lord was gracious to confirm His word, and several testified that they were healed or could no longer detect the symptoms of their infirmity. Among them, an elderly woman who had had suffered from ringing in her ear “forever” could no longer hear the ringing. A man who had hobbled to church because of severe arthritic pain in his hip could no longer feel the pain.
Our host David Diamond is a hospice chaplain who ministers to people suffering from terminal diseases. David had brought to the morning service one of his hospice patients. The gentleman had a severe lung disease which required him to lug around a large oxygen tank so that he could get sufficient oxygen through a tube to his nose. David and another brother ministered to him. By the end of the service, the gentleman had removed the breathing tube and was breathing fine. He walked to the car in the church parking lot outside still pulling the big oxygen tank behind him but with the tube disconnected.
After training with the Elijah Challenge in 2010, David is now being observed with interest mixed with a bit of concern by the management of the hospice where he works. On the one hand, some of the “terminal” patients David ministers to are getting better and some show remarkable improvement. But on the other hand, this is bad for the hospice business. (In his ministry Dave has led 50 hospice patients to the Lord in a short span of time.)
All in all however, the evangelical churches among which David moves here are still closed to the command of Jesus to His disciples to “heal the sick and tell them, ‘the kingdom of God is hear you.'” Unfortunately, the thinking among evangelical churches with regard to healing is “either our way or their way; either one or the other.” It’s either the traditional evangelical approach of praying for the sick which results in relatively few miraculous healings as we see in Scripture, or the unscriptural extreme practices seen in certain charismatic circles—for example on TV. There is little awareness that there is an approach taught by Jesus in the gospels and practiced in Acts which actually works—the infirm are actually healed miraculously. It’s neither one nor the other. Rather, it’s the balance which is found in Scripture.
Please pray that the Lord will remove the veil and open the eyes of the Church around the world to what Scripture teaches about these things. This tool is not only a blessing to infirm believers, but essential for the fulfillment of the Great Commission to non-Christian, non-western people groups during these last days. Approximately three-quarters of the world’s population fall into that gospel-resistant category.